Klingaman: For Leon Day’s widow, ‘baseball is mental therapy’

From Mike Klingaman at the Baltimore Sun on October 29, 2014:

On Thursday, which would have been Leon Day’s 98th birthday, the widow of the baseball Hall of Famer plans to pay homage to her man. She’ll drive to Arbutus Memorial Park, kneel by his graveside and tie a balloon to the stone. Happy Birthday, one side of the balloon will read; a happy face will grace the other.

“It’s something I always do,” said Geraldine Day, 75, of Catonsville. They’d been married 34 years when Day, who grew up in Baltimore and starred as a pitcher in the Negro leagues, died in 1995 of heart failure at St. Agnes Hospital — six days after learning of his election to the Hall of Fame.

She’ll not forget his last words.

“I asked Leon, ‘You’re not gonna leave me, are you?’ and he said, ‘No, baby, I’m gonna be here for you — and I’ve got to go up there [to Cooperstown] to get my Hall of Fame ring.’

“Fifteen minutes later, he was gone.”

Read the full article here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-leon-day-1030-20141029-story.html

Originally published: November 4, 2014. Last Updated: November 4, 2014.